The Merry Guide

by A.E. Housman


Once in the wind of morning
     I ranged the thymy wold;
The world-wide air was azure
     And all the brooks ran gold.
There through the dews beside me
     Behold a youth that trod,
With feathered cap on forehead,
     And poised a golden rod.
With mien to match the morning
     And gay delightful guise
And friendly brows and laughter
     He looked me in the eyes.
Oh whence, I asked, and whither?
     He smiled and would not say,
And looked at me and beckoned
      And laughed and led the way.
And with kind looks and laughter
     And nought to say beside
We two went on together,
     I and my happy guide.
Across the glittering pastures
     And empty upland still
And solitude of shepherds
     High in the folded hill,
By hanging woods and hamlets
     That gaze through orchards down
On many a windmill turning
     And far-discovered town,
With gay regards of promise
     And sure unslackened stride
And smiles and nothing spoken
     Led on my merry guide.
By blowing realms of woodland
     With sunstruck vanes afield
And cloud-led shadows sailing
     About the windy weald,
By valley-guarded granges
     And silver waters wide,
Content at heart I followed
     With my delightful guide.
And like the cloudy shadows
     Across the country blown
We two fare on for ever,
     But not we two alone.
With the great gale we journey
     That breathes from gardens thinned,
Borne in the drift of blossoms
      Whose petals throng the wind;
Buoyed on the heaven-heard whisper
     Of dancing leaflets whirled
From all the woods that autumn
     Bereaves in all the world.
And midst the fluttering legion
     Of all that ever died
I follow, and before us
     Goes the delightful guide,
With lips that brim with laughter
     But never once respond,
And feet that fly on feathers,
     And serpent-circled wand.
A.E. Housman | Classic Poems
Bredon Hill ] Clunton and Clunbury ] 'Is my team ploughing ] Parta Quies ] On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble; ] Loveliest of trees, the cherry now ] [ The Merry Guide ] 'Tis time, I think by Wenlock Town ] When I came last to Ludlow ] When I was one-and-twenty ]





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